Check out the article on Mashable.com
|Image provided by Marvel Comics|
“I was more skeptical than the next guy about the notion of providing a score for a comic book,” said Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. On the other hand, Alonso said he’s not the only one who’s had the experience where he's reading a comic book and listening to iPod and then ”suddenly there’s synergy.”
Set to debut later this year but introduced here at SXSW, Project Gama is a collaboration between Marvel and music-planning company CORD.
Alonso described the music as “non-lyrical,” and said it’s integrated into the reading experience. Although it is “event driven,” it does not speed up if you “flip” through the digital comic more quickly. Marvel calls it "adaptive audio."
Comic book authors are, apparently, already on board. Some have already suggested audio tracks for their comics.
There’s no extra cost for soundtracks on the digital comics that typically cost 99 cents per issue. Plus, Alonso knows these are early days, describing Project Gama’s upcoming launch as a maiden voyage and promising, “We’ll get more sophisticated.”
Rise of the Digital Comic BookWhile Alonso couldn’t share exact numbers, he told me digital is the fastest-growing part of the business. “Digital is exploding. Marvel has always been a forefront of innovation. We want to find as many ways to get comics in peoples’ hands as possible.”
As a result, Marvel also announced updates and enhancements to its existing digital offerings, including an expansion of Marvel's sporadic Infinite Comie series to a weekly run featuring multiple chapters and key Marvel characters. The first one will be Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted, which should launch on July 9, and like all upcoming Infinite series, features 13 chapters.
While Infinite Comics' panels and talk bubbles make them feel like comic books, they’re also fully designed for mobile consumption, taking advantage of wide screens and gesture-based navigation. I've read a number of comics and graphic novels on both the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Barnes & Noble Nook HD, and while the experience takes some getting used to, the graphics and guided navigation are fairly immersive and satisfying.
Despite the rapid growth of digital comics, Alonso is not worried about print comics. “We see it as being complimentary to print. “ He even believes digital can “potentially to drive people toward print.”
Alonso compared the shift to music, and said comics are quite different. In music, “aside from hippies who wanted liner notes, there wasn’t much difficulty getting them to shift” to digital, said Alonso. Comics are different, he told Mashable. It’s about holding a comic or graphic novel in your hands. “We’re talking about art.”
You can learn more about Infinite Comics here.